BEVERLY - The beginning of football season is right around the corner, and Fort Frye High is preparing appropriately.
The team had a helmet fitting and lifting session before kicking off its first day of team camp Monday evening. The Cadets will have camp the next two weeks before official practices start in August. Head coach Eric Huck said the team will be taking that time to familiarize itself with the playbook and practice the Xs and Os.
"We're really focusing on the fundamentals and learning the playbook on both sides of the ball," Huck said. "Understanding what we do, our base offense and base defense. We'll be getting that stuff in this week. And, of course, working on those fundamentals, the stuff you can work on without pads on."
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Mark Kelly (left), of Zide’s Sports Shop, helps a Fort Frye football player fit into his helmet at the team locker room in Beverly Monday evening.
Based on Monday's attendance, Fort Frye's numbers appear to be up, as are the team's expectations.
"It's nice to have more kids out," Huck said, noting there were about 40 kids coming out for the team. "Breeding that competition at certain spots, it makes the players better to fight for a position rather than knowing you don't really have anybody behind you that's competing with you."
Coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, the Cadets have set a high standard. However, for the first time in three years they will be without all-stater Chandler Lang under center. Lang was the team's leader and accounted for a lot of production on both sides of the ball. With other talented players like Colten Shuster, Drew Layton, Garrett Hall, Zach Prichard and C.J. Huck all graduated, Fort Frye will have some big shoes to fill this season.
The cupboard is far from bare, though.
The Cadets return several skill players and linemen that have contributed each of the past two years.
Senior Terren Huck will likely move from receiver to quarterback on offense this year and take center snaps, but he'll have to earn it.
"Terren is definitely one of those guys that's looked pretty good at quarterback," said coach Huck, Terren's older brother.
"We've had a couple passing scrimmages and we had some other guys step in there and do a pretty good job. We have a couple young players that I think looked pretty good, so we'll see how it all unfolds. Terren's definitely one of the guys in that mix."
Other key contributors from last year who are expected back are seniors Luke Yates, Brandon Close, Levi Baker, Sam Bidwell and Tyler Wittekind. Underclassmen Derek Layton, Garrett Lochary, Garrin Knotts, Zach Hupp and Brady Carpenter should have big impacts as well.
Huck will have a better understanding of what he's got next week, when his team plays back-to-back scrimmages on Tuesday and Wednesday against Southern and Morgan.